Daily writing prompt
What is your career plan?

At this stage in my life, I am viewing my retirement plan. Currently, I have 24 years into teaching. One more year, and I will make the big 25-year mark, which is quite an accomplishment since I am a late bloomer. I graduated from college the same year my daughter graduated from high school.

With all the changes in teaching, I don’t know how many more years I plan to teach. One goal was to have my house paid off before I left this profession, and I will have it paid off next year. Although I have had many changes, including three curriculum changes in three years, I still enjoy my career.

Next year, I will teach reading and writing again, and I am currently working on a unit plan for the introduction to speech. My lesson plans for this unit will be fun, and I hope to make this an easy task for my eighth graders. Unfortunately, public speaking in middle school can often traumatize some students.

I enjoy the planning stage and tweaking my lessons after instruction, especially after teaching something new and different. At times, I feel like a new teacher again since I thought I would finish my teaching career in humanities. Once I made that change, I gave away most of my writing, reading, and grammar books. However, with the teacher shortage and changes in the district building, I was told I had to go back to language arts. So in some ways, I am starting over again, but it’s okay; change is a good thing. And again, I really enjoy planning and designing my lessons.

The strange thing this year is that I am taking my last professional development class, except for those mandated through the district at the beginning of the year. I have hit the wall, and I have moved up as high as I can go. It’s somewhat bittersweet, for I enjoyed most of my classes. In the next few days, I will write my last paper for this course. The book for this class is called Because of a Teacher, and it tugged at the heartstrings. This was the perfect course for my last class.

So, will I retire in a year? Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on how this gramma fares, and so far, I am still having fun working with my students. They keep me young and make me smile. Plus, I get paid to read and write! Two of my favorite things!

  1. Photo by Aedrian on Unsplash

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen-Thrills and Chills

Let us be foolish, then, because if we can save even one life, we are the best of fools.

Chaya Lindner

So. have you ever been so engrossed in a book that you stayed up until dawn began its morning glow? Well, Resistance is that book! And thank goodness for coffee! That day, I gulped down coffee to stay focused in my middle school classroom! And, of course, my students laughed at me when they discovered the truth about my teaching slump that day! Talk about a book endorsement!

Recently, I read the book Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen. As a middle school teacher, I wanted to find a book on historical fiction about the Holocaust. This book did not disappoint! I have included this book in my classroom library, for it is an excellent addition to teaching my unit on the Holocaust.

Jennifer A. Nielsen, a noteworthy writer, grew up in Northern Utah. She began her writing journey while in elementary school. Over the years, her love of writing grew into a career. To date, her books have been translated into over 21 languages. 

She focused on young adult novels with her books, but I must maintain that this teacher was riveted and glued to her seat as she read this novel. Her characters came alive. I could not put down this action-packed book, for I wanted to find out what happened next to the protagonist, Chaya Lindner, a courier for a Jewish Resistance group known as Akiva. Throughout the story, I quietly cheered her on as she made her daring entries and escapes in the ravaged Polish ghettos during WW2.

RESISTANCE by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Jennifer wove a tale of historical fiction about the Holocaust. It was set in Poland before the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It included historical figures from the actual resistance movement. The characters were believable and well-rounded. Their stories added perspective to the historical tragedy and fighting spirit of the Jewish people who lived through the Holocaust.

The research and accuracy of this time were reflected throughout her story. Her attention to detail surfaced throughout her novel. Her depiction of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising kept me on edge as this nailbiter heaped on the action. I would recommend this book to teens and adults alike. It always jolted and astounded with its thrilling escapades and adventures. Moreover, readers will be encouraged by Chaya’s strength, courage, and determination to help her people.

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen | Scholastic Fall 2018 Online Preview

My Favorite Problem Child

Three years ago, I had a little spitfire that entered into my sixth-grade class, and she was a teacher’s worst nightmare. Amelia had an infectious smile that was somewhat crooked in nature, for it veered off at awkward angles. When she was about to be naughty, her eyes would gleam, and she would give that crooked little smile. It was like a beacon to those around her that Amelia was about to rock someone’s world, and not for the better. That glimmer in her eye warned others to take a step or two in the opposite direction because one never quite knew what she was going to do next. Continue reading “My Favorite Problem Child”